Why Are Avocados So Expensive?
The price of avocados may have looked to be rising at an alarming rate if you've recently browsed the fruit section of your local grocery store. But that's not totally true, as you might be pleased to hear.
Prices for FOB are finally beginning to decline after months of skyrocketing. That being said, why were they initially so costly?
In the United States today, avocados are among the most widely consumed foods. Innumerable recipes and cuisines call for them, and they are a symbol of the "clean eating" lifestyle. However, the cost of them is rising too. So what gives, then?
The primary cause is the avocado's high water requirements for growth. A kilogram of them can require up to 80 liters of water. Water has also become more expensive due to California's current drought.
Plus, getting avocados from Central America or Mexico to your neighborhood grocery shop requires a significant labor force. To ensure they are ready to eat, they must be sent unripe and ripened at the store. A single avocado becomes more expensive as a result of this costly procedure.
Grown and shipped internationally, avocados are not only costly to produce but also to transport. Per Business Insider, growing the widely consumed green fruit requires an astounding quantity of water—even more than growing tomatoes. It is also an exhausting effort and significantly more expensive than other produce shipping methods to get them from their fields in Mexico and elsewhere to Philadelphia, where we guacamole our hearts out during the Super Bowl.
Wholesale prices have decreased this year due to the oversupply of supplies. Yet retail pricing is still expensive, and Wonky Box co-founder Angus Simms tells Newsable that there are several explanations for this.
A large crop one year may result in a smaller harvest the following year since avocado plants normally alternate in yield from year to year. Additionally, avocado prices have increased due to the drought in California, the state where the majority of the fruit is farmed in the US. A further factor hurting exports to the US is cartel violence in Mexico's Michoacan state, where 80% of the nation's avocados are grown.
Avocados can resist weather and pest attacks because of their strong outer skin. But in order to remain healthy, the food needs certain chemicals, and they come at a price. According to a 2014 investigation, a kilogram of avocados releases 1.5 times more CO2 from farm to store than a kilogram of bananas do.
As a result of the fruit's widespread use, monoculture is promoted, enabling farmers to use chemical pesticides and fertilizers to increase yields at the expense of pollinators and the contamination of streams and soil. Gonzales claims that it's difficult to stay away from these harmful substances, even if you're vegan.
Though it's not a cure-all, Gonzalez advises organic farming. According to him, using organic farming practices won't completely stop deforestation, soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions, or excessive water usage. The achievement of dolphin-safe labeling for tuna serves as an example of how consumer organization action can be helpful in this situation, he continues. Choose fruits and vegetables from the EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides' Clean Fifteen list to save money for the time being.
Due to their labor-intensive harvesting and marketing processes, avocados are quite costly to grow. The price of the fruit is further increased by a number of federal laws, such as labeling specifications and packaging demands.
Avocados are a particularly costly food because of their quick rate of deterioration. A few days after picking, avocados must be sold since they spoil rapidly, unlike tomatoes, apples, or bananas, which can be kept in the refrigerator and sold deep into the winter.
Furthermore, that poses an issue for Mexican farmers. They are able to maintain high prices because they have a monopoly on the West Coast avocado market.